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Have You Got Trust Issues? 5 Ways Your Website Can Inspire It

Written by Hannah Ward: Operations director.
· 4 minute read

It doesn’t matter how compelling your PPC ads are, or how much organic traffic you’re acquiring, if website users have any doubts about how trustworthy you are as a company, the likelihood is that they’ll bounce straight back off.

Then not only have you lost a customer on that occasion, but they’re also unlikely to return in the future.

People’s guards are already up when it comes to Internet security, with constant warnings of transaction fraud, identity theft, hacking… So it’s no wonder that trust is so important to the consumer now, especially when it comes to eCommerce or transactional websites.

 

1. Remember: Your visitors are judging the book by its cover

So, put simply, you need to ensure it’s a very good cover! Research conducted by Stamford University into Web Credibility found that 75% of users base their opinion of a company’s credibility on the design of their website.

So what makes a design look trustworthy or untrustworthy? With the average visitor taking less than one tenth of a second to form an opinion about your website, it’s worth keeping in mind some key things that can immediately trigger red flags, such as:

Cluttered designs with too much going on: multiple calls to actions, too many images, lots of different colours, pop ups…

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A poor user experience: if users can’t work out what to do on your site, or the journey isn’t easy, it can make your company look inexperienced which is not particularly reassuring to customers considering a transaction with you.

Poorly-designed checkout pages: users who regularly shop online using the likes of Amazon and Asos have almost become ‘conditioned’ into knowing what a good checkout looks like, so anything falling noticeably short is going to ring some alarm bells.

In a nutshell, if a company doesn’t have a well designed, well considered website, it can come across as unprofessional and not particularly reassuring. Where as if it looks like a company has an in-house design team, or has worked with a reputable web design agency, then it appears far more trustworthy.

2. Avoid the fake photo

There’s nothing more ‘real’ (and therefore, more likely to inspire trust) than using photos of you and your team in real scenarios. Let’s take ourselves as an example: when we were designing our Run2 website, we could have used something like this for our Digital Marketing page:

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But not only is that pretty hideous, it also looks untrustworthy: it’s impersonal, it tells you nothing about the company, it doesn’t act as ‘proof’, and it looks like an unprofessional ‘quick fix’. So instead, we used this:

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This is Ben and Jo, two key members of our Digital Marketing team: the people responsible for our clients’ digital strategies, and who customers will talk to if they ring our office. It doesn’t get more real than that!

Of course, it’s not always feasible to have a professional photo shoot or feature every member of your team on your site. However, there’s nothing wrong with using stock imagery providing you choose carefully. There’s a great piece on Authentic Imagery on Hubspot, where they use the example of the travel industry, and suggest that if you’re using stock photography, then choose an image like this:

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Rather than one like this:

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3. No contact details = no custom

If I’m giving an online company my money, I want to be sure that they’re going to send me whatever it is I’ve ordered in return. I also want to know that if there’s a problem with what I’ve ordered- it’s incorrect, it’s damaged, it doesn’t arrive- then I can contact someone (preferably someone with an actual street address and phone number) who can help me.

An email address or an online chat feature doesn’t really alleviate my fears: I know that the guy who’s potentially about to run off with my money can hide behind the anonymity of an email address. And without an actual street address, there’s no way I can ever find him.

And if a company doesn’t list their phone number, I immediately want to know why: why don’t they want me to ring? Is this company not professional or equipped enough to help me if I need assistance? Or were they previously getting loads of calls from people complaining about their products or service?

Consumers need reassurance, and that means publishing your work address, email and phone number. Simple but immediately effective (and immediately damaging if you don’t).

4. Make good use of social proof

There’s a reason that Tripadvisor is so successful: it is based on the honest, unbiased opinions of real people. Econsultancy found that 70% of online consumers trust and believe the reviews of unknown users, where as they’re far less likely to believe a company’s own adverts. This just shows the value of demonstrating social proof on your site as a way to increase trust in your product or service, and there’s a number of ways you can do it:

Incorporate a review platform such as Trustpilot or Feefo

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Share some testimonials
Had some great feedback from clients? Tell your visitors- it could be all it takes to turn a browser into a buyer.

Include links to your social accounts
If you have lots of followers on social media, let your visitors know it. The proof that other consumers follow you and engage with your posts gives credibility to your brand.

Display client and partner logos
Use your client and partner logos to show the kind of companies and industries that you work with. It helps highlight your expertise in a particular industry sector, and larger recognisable brands will lend gravitas and authority.

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5. Be a show off

If you’ve achieved something great and won an award to prove it, then tell your visitors about it and prove to them that you’re an expert in your field.
Also, publicise any industry accreditations and memberships that you’re part of: it enhances belief in your ability to do the job properly and at no risk to the customer.

Any consumers who have even a vague idea about your industry when they start browsing will probably know to look for certain accreditations- take the travel industry for example: the majority of consumers will know that booking through an ABTA member ensures they will be financially protected.

We can take another example from the digital marketing industry: if a customer is thinking of hiring a PPC agency and they have done a bit of research, then they will probably know that they should be looking for a Google Adwords Qualified Agency to ensure they get a good quality service.

If you don’t make it clear that you have the accreditation that potential customers are looking for, then you could be losing business.

Worried that your website is causing trust issues? Get in touch with us today, we’ll be happy to help.